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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comic Book Review: Fables # 1

Fables # 1
Created and Written by Bill Willingham
Published by Vertigo

Remember Snow White, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Jack and The Beanstalk, and all those children stories? I know you do, but have you wondered if they really "lived happily ever after"? I have asked that question a couple of times and to my great surprise, I have found the answer... well, not exactly the answer but more of like somebody's own personal twisted concept of what came after to these characters.

Welcome to the Fabletown - a secret place in modern day New York City where our beloved folklore and fairytale characters (who call themselves "Fables") dwell and blend with the human society after an evil entity known as "The Adversary" took over their Homelands and drove them out in the process. So there you go, it was not "happily ever after" after all. 

Some of our main characters are introduced in this fabulous first issue like Jack Horner - the guy in the Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack O Lantern and other Jack stories; Bigby Wolf - yes folks, its the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs who in the comic, is the sheriff/police in Fabletown; Rose Red - the party-going sister of Snow White and the girlfriend of Jack; Prince Charming - ex-husband of Snow White (and a bunch of other fairytale ladies), now a full time womanizer and all around liar; and last but not the least: Snow White - the boss who runs just about anything at Fabletown.

Jack and Bigby Wolf

So let me get this straight: Snow White has a sister which we never knew before and is divorced from Prince Charming, then the Wolf is now a good guy and is a freaking law enforcer. How's that for an updated version of these centuries old characters? 

Created and written by Bill Willingham, Fables is nothing short but extraordinary, fresh, and twisted. His whole concept is just plain ridiculous but damn entertaining. It simply works! I have never read of anything like it, especially this first issue that kept me intrigued until the end of the page.

Where's the apple?
It deals with the murder mystery theme - Sheriff Bigby Wolf  investigates on the truth behind the apparent death of Snow White's sister, Rose Red. Combining suspense, logic, mystery, and an endless loop of possibilities, Willingham makes it very hard for the reader to guess the possible ending or solution to the dilemma, while keeping an engaging and very amusing dialogue between his characters until the climactic revelation that would surely satisfy even the most non-hardcore fan of the genre. It is absolute story telling genius.

And the art isn't too shabby either.

Add to that the cameos of other familiar characters such as Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio, fantastic humor (e.g "cocksmanship") and some sexually-tintillating-yet-funny panels, you would surely want more and grab the next issue.

Prince Charming shows off his skills which eventually leads... this. Its good to be him after all.

Fables has not yet ended and even if it ends tomorrow, this series has already made history as one of Vertigo's best-selling titles and one the most memorable graphic novels, along with Y: The Last Man, Preacher and Sandman with 12 Eisner awards under its belt.  And if that won't make you dig this, then maybe you have to make an appointment with your psychiatrist.

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